Parents ooh and aah over baby toys, but if you are looking for activities for babies, household objects are a great place to start. Babies often find everyday household items more engaging than baby toys! My oldest daughter Emma’s favorite baby toy was a clear plastic shampoo bottle. She loved to watch the air bubble go up and down!
Activities for Babies: Stacking Cups
Anna saw these cups that were left over from Johnny’s birthday party and wanted them, so I decided to hand them over to see what she would do with them. She played with them for about an hour the first day – stacking, unstacking, putting them right-side-up, up-side-down. She has played with them several times since, also, although always for shorter lengths of time now that she has a basic idea of what she wants to do with them. Playing with cups is a great way for babies to practice fine motor skills, learn about cause and effect, and develop planning skills! Here you can see a short clip of Anna using this homemade toy:
Baby Play Extensions for Older Siblings
Does your baby have an older sibling or siblings? Plastic cups are great for older kids, too! Set up a challenge on a rainy day to see who can make the tallest stack, or who can make a stack the fastest. See who can build the tallest stack BEFORE the baby knocks it down! Build plastic cup forts and attack them with ping pong balls. Which design is strongest? Have older siblings decorate cups using Sharpie pens.
Fill a cup with marbles or candy and have kids estimate how many marbles/candies are in the cup. You will have to keep this cup out of the baby’s reach.
More Activities for Babies
What simple games have your babies enjoyed playing? My post on activities for the very young who eat everything features several of our favorite baby play ideas. Anna has stopped putting everything in her mouth (always an exciting milestone), but she still enjoys all of the activities on that list!
Looking for more baby activities? Check out this wonderful ebook that I contributed to!
Do you have games that your kids like to play with plastic cups? How about some favorite activities for babies? What homemade baby toys did your children enjoy?
MaryAnne lives is a craft loving educator, musician, photographer, and writer who lives in Silicon Valley with her husband Mike and their four children.
19 thoughts on “Activities for Babies AND Older Siblings: Stacking Cups”
What a simple and engaging activity! This is definitely something I can pull out when I need a quick way to engage baby brother!
Joshua LOVED plastic water bottles. If he spotted an empty one, he would choose that over any toy.
The toy my 3 kids loved the most as toddlers were these 4 stacking plastic cups! Such a simple toy but so much fun and can be used in such creative ways! (chewing on it, throwing it, stacking it, turning it upside down) … babies know what they like!
Those stacking plastic cups are one of those classic toys that many babies adore!
My older kids actually love to play with cups….I never thought about the wee ones! Thank you for the idea!
The best toys are fun for all ages :)
That video is so cool – I really like the part in which she is trying it take them out – she is doing it on her own! And yes, it is exciting – when they stop putting everything in there mouths. I am going to remember this when we have our little one here, and I agree with you on everything you have written :)
stacking and unstacking…I could watch that for hours. she’s so intent on what she’s doing!
She really enjoys this activity :)
I love this clip – what a classic moment to capture.
Thank you, Cathy! It’s a fun memory to have on film!
Anna is sooooo adorable!! :)
Due to limited space, I have let my kids play with (most of) my “real” kitchen equipment, such as baby-safe plastic containers and saucepans and things that they can reach. They love it!
Thank you, Elisa! Kitchen equipment makes wonderful baby toys!
I haven’t tried giving the babies plastic cups yet but they do enjoy this set of cardboard wooden nesting blocks. Great idea! I’ll try cups soon.
Anna would love wooden nesting blocks!
My boys still love to stack cups and create monstrously vast structures when the mood strikes them.
I could see your boys building some REALLY big structures!
This post is right on. Babies and toddlers love simple stacking so much.
They really don’t need much to entertain themselves!
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